TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari here on Sunday announced the start of studies on Iran-Europe new gas pipeline project.
Feasibility studies on the Persian pipeline which is to link Iran to Italy and Greece via Iraq, Syria and the Mediterranean Sea started 7 months ago.
Nozari also announced the launch of operation of 2 new phases of South Pars gas field by late July.
Earlier this month Nozari told reporters in Damascus after a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Sofyan al-Alaw that Iran wants to develop the planned 'Persian pipeline' project to transfer its gas to Europe.
"Iran will transfer gas to Greece and Italy through Iraq, Syria and the Mediterranean Sea," he added in his remarks in Damascus.
Europe is acutely looking for resources to supply its gas needs, he said, adding that the project requires the final approval of both sides.
Ongoing talks between Iran and Europe on the gas shipment project threaten to undermine US lobbying efforts against Tehran.
If Tehran's plans are put into play, Iran may emerge as an alternative to European reliance on Russian supplies.
Iran sits on 16 percent of the world's natural gas reserves- second in the world only to Russia.